Who will lead the Falcons in sacks through the 2022 season?
The Atlanta Falcons have not benefitted from an elite pass rush in well over a decade. In fact, the last time they ranked top ten in total sacks was all the way back in 2004 when they actually led the league with 48.
That is now 17 straight seasons where they have not been able to crack the top ten in total sacks in the NFL. That is simply crazy, and the sad part is that the streak will probably continue at least through this next season.
Who are the candidates to lead the Atlanta Falcons in sacks?
The Falcons have put together what should be a formidable secondary this season, but the same cannot be said about the pass rush.
To be fair there was not much they could do to fix it this year as they did not have a lot of money to spend and there was not an elite prospect they could have taken with the eighth overall pick.
Barring any major trade, we already know who the Falcons will have to count on to provide pressure on the opposing quarterback, but which one of these guys will lead the team?
First of all, one can only hope that the team will improve from last year as Dante Fowler Jr. led the team with just 4.5 of the team’s 18 total sacks. That is about as bad as it can get.
The first candidate will always be Grady Jarrett, but there are a couple problems with expecting him to lead the team. He only managed one sack last year as he no doubt had a down year but he also plays on the interior and is the focus of every opposing offensive line. If they are going to target anyone, it will be Grady. Wouldn’t count on him leading the team.
Outside of Jarrett, there are really three that stick out, all of which are new to the team—DeAngelo Malone, Arnold Ebiketie, and Lorenzo Carter
DeAngelo Malone may be a third-round pick but he was known as a pass rusher in college as he put up massive stats at Western Kentucky. He projects to be a situational pass rusher, so he may not get the high number of snaps but he will be put in the best position to come up with sacks. He has the talent to lead the team.
Another guy who has the talent is someone the Falcons traded up to get in the second round, Arnold Ebiketie. Ebiketie will likely be given a lot more snaps than Malone, so certainly he will have more opportunities. Atlanta did not trade up to grab him to be a run stopper, they want him to be their next John Abraham.
If you had to put money on one guy it should be Lorenzo Carter. He is extremely talented and also has experience in the league. He has the ability to put up double-digit sack numbers, and that is not an exaggeration. He ended last year strong and could use that momentum to become the team’s breakout star.
This will be a totally revamped pass rush for the Atlanta Falcons and they certainly needed to tear it down and build it back up. Ade Ogundeji and Marlon Davidson are two guys who were not mentioned and could also be candidates to lead the team.
In the end, it does not matter who the stats come from, as long as the Falcons are able to have a consistent pass rush, unlike last year.